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European Commission Publishes FinTech Action Plan

On March 8, the European Commission issued a press release unveiling a 23-step action plan on how to harness the opportunities presented by technology-enabled innovation in financial services (FinTech). The European Commission identifies two goals: (1) capitalizing on fast-moving progress in technology to improve the European Union’s economy, and (2) incentivizing a more competitive and innovative European financial sector.

The action plan’s steps fall under the three categories listed below; the most notable steps are highlighted under each category:

Enable innovative business models to reach EU scale

  • Presenting a proposal for EU passporting in relation to crowdfunding;

  • Considering the relevance of the current EU regulatory framework to cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, with a Q2 2018 roundtable and report later in 2018 as a further step;

  • Establishing foundational steps for a European open banking eco-system; and

  • Continuing the use of “regulatory sandboxes” (i.e., experimentation frameworks for innovative firms). As a separate step, the EC will present a blueprint with recommendations for regulatory sandboxes by the Q4 2018.

Support the uptake of technological innovation in the financial sector

  • Establishing an expert group to review the EU financial services regulatory framework by Q2 2019 for the use of disruptive technologies, such as distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and artificial intelligence;

  • Removing existing obstacles that hinder the greater use of outsourcing to cloud services;

  • Considering increased digitization of regulated information on EU-regulated market-listed companies; and

  • Hosting an EU FinTech lab where EU and national authorities can engage with technology solution providers in a neutral, non-commercial space during targeted sessions.

Enhance security and integrity of the financial sector

  • The European Commission will hold a public-private workshop in the Q2 2018 and consider existing practices, with a view to increasing information sharing on cyber threats among the financial sector by addressing existing barriers; and

  • Conducting a cost-benefit analysis of developing a coherent cyber threat testing framework for significant market participants and infrastructures across the EU financial sector.

The action plan is available here.

The press release is available here.

A fact-sheet summary of the action plan is available here.

©2018 Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP


About this Author


John Ahern, partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP and head of the London Financial Services group, focuses his practice on banking, financial services, UK and European financial markets, and related regulations. His background in private practice and as in-house counsel at a global investment bank provides him with perspective on the unique regulatory issues facing the wholesale and private banking sectors. John advises multilateral trading facilities, broker-dealers and banks on trading, clearing and settlement as well as custody of securities—both physical and...

+44 (0) 20 7770 5253
Carolyn H. Jackson, International Attorney, Katten Muchin law firm

Carolyn Jackson is a partner in Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP and is a Registered Foreign Lawyer. She provides US financial regulatory legal advice to a broad range of market participants, including commercial banks, investment banks, investment managers, broker-dealers, electronic trading platforms, clearinghouses, trade associations and over-the-counter derivatives service providers.

Carolyn guides clients in the structuring and offering of complex securities, commodities and derivatives transactions and in complying with US securities and commodities laws and regulations. 

+44 0 20 7776 7625
Nathaniel Lalone, Katten Muchin Law Firm, Financial Institutions Attorney
Senior Associate

Nathaniel Lalone, a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP, has a broad range of experience in the regulation of financial products and financial markets, and frequently provides regulatory and compliance advice to trading venues, clearing houses and buy-side firms active in the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, futures and securities markets. He is actively involved in advising clients on the implementation of MiFID 2 and MiFIR in the European Union as well as the international reach of US financial services regulation. He also has significant experience with structuring...

+44 0 20 7776 7629
Neil Robson, private equity fund managers counselor, Katten Law Firm, London

Neil Robson, a regulatory and compliance partner with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, focuses his practice on counseling hedge and private equity fund managers and other investment advisers on operational, regulatory and compliance issues. He regularly addresses Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and EU authorization and compliance under both the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFM Directive) and MiFID, cross-border issues in the financial services sector, market abuse, anti-money laundering and regulatory capital requirements, formations and buyouts of...